Downtown Clarksburg Field Trip Tour
This tour covers the downtown Clarksburg landmarks included in the Clarksburg History Museum field trip tour.
The Clarksburg History Museum contains one of Harrison County’s most significant collections of historical objects. The museum was founded in 2017 and has constantly expanded its space and holdings. It focuses primarily on the political, economic, and cultural history of the city of Clarksburg. Exhibits include a fossil room, military room, theater equipment, mining items, biographies of important Clarksburg natives, and many other topics. In addition to the historical displays, the Clarksburg History Museum also offers educational and cultural programming, as well as The Fiddlers Hands Gift Shop. The museum is located in the Harrison County Board of Education building. This entry features a virtual tour of the museum, perfect for experiencing the collection from home, or supplementing an in-person visit. At each stop on the entry, qualified and passionate individuals share their perspective on different collections within the museum.
The Robinson Grand Theater opened its doors in 1913 with the help of its founders William Lafferty, Charles Alexander and Reuben Robinson of the Clarksburg Amusement Company. It was later renovated and enlarged in 1927 to appeal to contemporary designs and society of its time. Unfortunately, tragedy struck in May of 1939 when an air conditioner caught on fire destroying most of the stage and theater house. Luckily, it was able to be rebuilt by December of the same year. This was the place where many locals first saw classics like Jaws, Star Wars and the Sound of Music. The theater continued to show movies and host local events through the 1980s but later shut down due to other popular suburban multiplexes within the area. Thanks to the hardworking people of Clarksburg, the Robinson Grand Theater was completely remodeled.
Waldomore began as a family home for Clarksburg resident Waldo P. Goff, but later evolved into a well-known local landmark. The two-story Neo-Classical Revival brick house was constructed in 1839 and expanded ca. 1900. It is an emblematic representative of the Neo-Classical Revival style. The name Waldomore was derived by combining the names of the original owners, Waldo P. Goff, and his wife Harriet Moore. May Goff Lowndes, daughter of Goff and Moore, donated Waldomore to the city of Clarksburg in 1931, on the condition that it be used as a library or museum. The city accepted and Waldomore remains a part of the Clarksburg Public Library today. It primarily holds special collections, such as the Local History & Genealogy Collection, the West Virginia Collection, and the Grey Barker UFO Collection.
The Clarksburg Municipal Building dates back to 1888 when it served as the city’s post office. From 1932 to 1965, the structure was deemed the Federal Building because it housed various Federal Offices. In 1966, the structure became the City of Clarksburg’s Municipal Building. Despite the efforts of preservationists and local residents who rallied to save the structure and convert it into a museum and visitors center, the building was demolished.
The Stealey-Goff-Vance House dates back to 1807, when it was constructed for tanner Jacob Stealey. It is the oldest home in Clarksburg, and likely the oldest building in general. Stealey died in 1841, but the home remained in the family's possession until 1881, when John Stealey sold the property to Nathan Goff Sr., a former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. Goff's widow remodeled the home around 1891, adding Victorian details such as the gable roof and detailed exterior millwork. During the early twentieth century, the home served as a boarding house and doctor's office before it became the property of Amy Roberts Vance in 1933. When Vance died in 1967, her sons donated the historic home to the Harrison County Historical Society with the stipulation that the property would serve as a headquarters and museum. The historical society offers tours of the home by appointment, as well as special programs at the house throughout the year.
The history of the Harrison County Courthouse stretches back to 1784, when a one-room building was erected for five hundred fifty dollars. Since then, the building has been replaced four times, culminating in the fifth courthouse that is visible today. The current Art Moderne building was constructed between 1931 and 1932 and is architecturally significant. It is also Harrison County’s longest serving courthouse building. A variety of historical plaques, monuments, and memorials are contained in the building’s courtyard. They commemorate the people and events that have shaped Harrison County.
Similar to many Confederate markers and monuments, this bronze plaque was the result of the efforts of women in the early nineteenth century. The United Daughters of the Confederacy funded and dedicated this plaque to commemorate the birthplace of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson. Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia. He entered West Point in July 1842 and, in spite of his poor childhood education, was able to graduate seventeenth in his class in 1846. Upon graduation, Jackson served as an officer in the Mexican American War. He also served as an army officer in New York and Florida. In 1851, Jackson became professor of artillery tactics and natural philosophy at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. He resigned from the army in 1852 and later joined the Confederate army where he earned a reputation as a competent and fearless military officer.